The key assumption was revealed in the Federal Budget last night, predicting another six months of WA’s closed borders.
When will WA’s border open? Well if we are to go by the Federal Governments budget insights not for a while yet.
They might have been against it to begin with, but the Federal Government now predicts the WA border closure will remain into 2021.
In fact, it believes the closure will stay in place until April – a full six months away and four months from the goal of re-opening that other States have signed up to.
The Budget Papers last night revealed the Federal Government would work off the “key assumption” that WA would open its borders from April 1.
“It is assumed that state border restrictions currently in place are lifted by the end of 2020, except for Western Australia which is assumed to open from 1 April 2021,” the Budget read.
“A gradual return of international students and permanent migrants is assumed through the latter part of 2021, with small, phased pilot programs beginning to return international students from late 2020.”
And international travel is even further off the cards.
“Inbound and outbound international travel is expected to remain low through the latter part of 2021, after which a gradual recovery in international tourism is also assumed to occur,” the Budget read.
This is despite another “key assumption”: that a vaccine will be available.
“A population-wide Australian COVID-19 vaccination program is assumed to be fully in place by late 2021,” the Budget stated.
“General social distancing restrictions are assumed to continue until a vaccine is fully available.”
Migration into Australia is also expected to be “significantly affected” by international travel restrictions, with 1 million fewer people to immigrate by 2024 than predicted pre-COVID.
Watch: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg presenting the Federal Budget
While the WA border may be standing well into 2021, this hasn’t stopped the Federal Government from providing a strong focus on domestic tourism with the recent announcement of $231.6 million to “ramp up” domestic marketing.
For further details on the Federal Budget visit budget.gov.au.
Feature image: AAP Image/Lukas Coch